Saturday, September 11, 2010
From top to bottom, she's a woman, sunshine.
Set in Argentina, Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is a young, suave hustler who drifts from place to place, with nothing but a loaded die for company. One day, amidst a mugging, he is rescued by Buenos Aires casino magnate Ballin Mundson (George Macready) and the tycoon, spotting a diamond in the rough, employs Farrell as his henchman. The two men enjoy a sucessful relationship, for along while acknowledging the only third party as Ballin's cane. However, emotions become complicated when Ballin marries a beautiful but heartless woman, the eponymous Gilda (Rita Hayworth). Unknownst to Mundson, his loyal devotee and his new bride were once together, in a relationship that is the very definition of "tempestuous". Needless to say, that relationship did not end well, leading to both parties loathing each other, but also paving the way for one of the most wickedly entertaining three-handers in cinema.
Rita Hayworth shimmies across the stage in a wide range of figure-hugging silk dresses, her curves accentuated with shiny, bold belts. Her performance outshines ever the sparkliness of her belts, as she exudes sultry elegance in every frame. Her character is jaded, cynical and has no qualms with using and abusing any men she comes across, but one smouldering look from her and it's not hard to see why she has men going gaga for her. Her chemistry with Glenn Ford (whom she would later bed in real life) is sizzling and their exchanges demonstrate perfectly that fine line between love, hate, and how easy it is for the two to fuse. It is this edge to Gilda and Johnny's repartee that make them such a curious couple, and their anti-hero characters so compelling.
And, to be honest, that is what love is all about, really.